Mar 17, 2014

Summary of Findlay v. Bradford

Findlay v. Bradford, 1998 CanLII 13530 (SK QB)
The petitioner claimed a share of property accumulated while the parties cohabited as man and wife between 1989 and 1995 on the basis of a constructive trust. The petitioner, her child from a previous relationship and their daughter moved into the respondent's home in 1989. That home was sold in 1991 to purchase an acreage. Improvements were paid for with monies from its sale and a loan, now fully paid. The long term plan was to build a family home on the property.HELD: 1)An order declared the petitioner to be the owner of an undivided one-half interest in the land. The Registrar of Land Titles was directed to cancel the existing certificate of title and issue a new one naming both as registered owners. 2)If the parties could not agree upon a way to divide the interests an application could be made for an order for sale. There was no satisfactory evidence as to the value of the acquired property either at the time the parties separated or at present. Her overall contributions and benefits conferred were sufficiently linked to justify relief by way of constructive trust namely, proprietary relief. 3)The concepts of constructive or resulting trust derive from rules of equity aimed at alleviating unjust enrichment. The three components of a constuctive trust are an enrichment, a corresponding deprivation and an absence of any juristic reason for the enrichment.(Petkus v. Becker) 4)The petitioner who was employed throughout contributed financially to the development of the acreage, including borrowing $9,000 to pay for the garage and other improvements. She contributed to monthly expenses and paid a monthly sum of $500. The parties acquired farm machinery and snowmobiles and raised livestock and poultry. The respondent denied receiving money from the petitioner but bank records indicated corresponding deposits into his account for the petitioner's withdrawals. The petitioner also contributed by working in and around the home carrying on in every respect as a typical farm wife. 5)The petitioner was awarded her taxable party and party costs.